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Zeolite LiX

LiX preparation

  1. Samples of NaX (Si/Al = 1.25) were obtained from commercial vendors (Aldrich, molecular sieve 13X). In this case the sodium form was exchanged six times with 1 M NH4Cl solution at T = 360−365 K for 24 h to obtain the NH4 form.
  2. The Li-exchanged zeolite LiX-1.25 was obtained by exchanging the NH4 form three times with 1 M LiCl for 24 h and three times with 6 M LiCl at 365 K for 24 h. The absence of NH4 was confirmed by IR using the KBr pellet technique. Full ion exchange was confirmed later by chemical analysis.

Obtaining Li

  • The amount of lithium (or lithium equivalent) content in a battery or battery pack can be worked out as 0.3 x amp hour capacity. So a 2Ah battery has 0.6 grams of lithium (2 x 0.3) and a typical laptop battery pack with eight 2Ah cells has 4.8 grams (8 units x (0.3 x 2Ah))
  • 18650 battery –> 2.5 Ah approx –> 0.6 g of Li
  • Amount of Li needed: approx. 42 g / kg_LiX (WS calculation)

Do not try this at home. While testing, many batteries took fire and some exploded.

Amount of LiX needed

It can be estimated using the RPSA performance data of Figures 9 and 10 that an adsorber [3.175 cm in diameter and 55cmlong]containing∼230gofLiXzeolitewillbeadequateto produce ∼5 LPM of ∼90% O2-enriched product gas. The compressed feed air (∼3 atm) flow rate needed is ∼67 LPM. The outside diameter ofthe gastank is assumed to be∼15.2 cm which will be sufficient to hold ∼15.8 L of usable O2 product (withdrawn between 3 and 1 atm pressures).

hence: 1/4 kg LiX per patient station –> 15-20 batteries 18650 (a laptop battery may contain 6-8 batteries)

Open issues:

  • How to obtain Li from batteries? 18650 batteries contain Li salts (not pure Li).

Resources:

This is work in progress. Please contribute in the comments. All valuable inputs will help us define the best solution.


17 Comments

    • It is unsafe to use old Li-Ion batteries . In general, if you open Li-Ion batteries, make sure to operate outside and with protective gear to protect from explosions.

  1. I am trying to make an Oxygen concentrator. So far. i have only been able to get aquarium grade zeolite. Zeolite for oxygen concentrators are prohibitively expensive in India and they do not sell in small quantities.
    Is it possible to make “LiX preparation” mentioned in the article at home?
    If yes, please help me with the process.

    • In our experiments, we have not found a meaningful amount of “good” zeolite in two different aquarium zeolites.

  2. Is it necessary to compact the Zeolite in the column? Or would a pressure spring be sufficient?
    If compacting is required, then how would one recommend it to be done?

    JLOX501 Zeolite is much cheaper than the high performance JLOX101.
    I was quoted $5 for 501 and $30 for 101.
    Obviously the 501 would yield less O² or not yield for as long as the 101.

    • We are also working with just a spring to compact the zeolite bed.

      And yes, the price of our best working LiX is almost 5x as high as the NaX we have, and you can see it in performance.

  3. The following is copied from an email I received from a Chinese manufacturer of Zeolite:- “In addition to JLOX-101, we will also recommend another zeolite JLOX-501 for your 1-5L/min oxygen concentrator, because JLOX-501 is much cheaper than JLOX-101 with regular performance. For your reference, the price for JLOX-101 is about USD30.00 per kg, and for JLOX-501 is about USD 5.00 per kg.
    JLOX-101 (Bead size 0.4 to 0.8mm): high performance lithium based oxygen zeolite
    JLOX-501 (Bead size 0.4 to 0.8mm): regular oxygen zeolite
    Product Name Oxygen concentrator Filling Quantity for 2 columns
    JLOX-101 1LPM 400g
    JLOX-101 5LPM 1200g

    JLOX-501 1LPM 1200g
    JLOX-501 5LPM 2400g
    Please see attached the manual for ”How to choose molecular sieve for Small Oxgen concentrator”.”

  4. Hi,
    I’m trying to troubleshoot my oxygen concentrator
    … it keeps blowing/ popping the relief valve . I think my drive beds are saturated. Do you think I can try to replace my seive beds with some new Zeolite ?
    Thanks,
    Tom

    • Hi Tom,
      as far as I understand your message, you have two issues:
      1. Your exhaust valve is not connected air-tight and looses pressure through blowing?
      2. What do you mean by drive beds? Do you refer to Zeolite columns? They could be saturated with water, yes. In that case, replacing the zeolite is definitely a good idea.

      CHeers
      Julian

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